There are many perks to working from home, like being able to work in your favorite sweatpants or saving time on your commute. But it can be difficult to get as much work done when you don’t have the company of coworkers (or, let’s be honest, a nagging boss) to keep you on track.
If you’re struggling to find motivation while working from home, try these 5 tips to make your working hours more productive and enjoyable.
Stick to a Schedule
When you work from home, your home is also your office, so you may have trouble turning work “off” at the end of the day. Setting boundaries with your work can help you to preserve your free time while also making your work hours more productive.
Try making a schedule and sticking with it. Set your alarm and begin working at the same time each day. Take breaks every few hours, but don’t step away from your computer for any longer than you would if you were in the office.
Finally, no matter how much you get done in the day, enforce a strict end time for work. This will motivate you to get the necessary tasks done during your working hours and prevent work responsibilities from bleeding into the evening hours.
Create a Home Office
It’s tempting to work from your bed all day, but you’ll be more productive if you’re sitting upright (or even better, standing!) at a desk or table. A home office can provide the sensation of being on the job from the comfort of your own home.
Even if you don’t have the space for a dedicated home office, try working in the same location every day. Experts suggest sitting near a window in a supportive chair in an area of your home free of distractions.
While there’s no definitive evidence that wearing professional clothes makes you more productive, people feel more attentive and motivated when they wear different clothes to work than they do in their free time.
You don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but maybe wait to put the leggings on until after work.
Hide Your Phone
Chances are, you don’t really need your phone during the work day. These days, even texts and calls can be routed through your computer. If you find your phone is distracting you throughout the day, put it away and only take it out during breaks.
Even if you’re only taking a few minutes every hour to check social media or your personal email, it takes a lot of time (more than 20 minutes!) to return to a productive workflow. It’s better to avoid these distractions or save them for your dedicated break time.
Even if you’re not very competitive, timing yourself can be an incredibly motivating way to cross off tasks on your to-do list—especially tasks you would rather avoid.
Next time you’re feeling unmotivated, try giving yourself a time limit to finish that project you’re dreading. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a break or a treat. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have pushing yourself!
With a few simple changes, you can easily increase your motivation while working from home. Over time, you might even find you’re more productive at home than you would be in the office!